By Alexander Ratz
CHISINAU (Reuters) -Germany will take in 2,500 refugees who have fled to Moldova from Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Saturday, as eastern Europe’s efforts to aid refugees come under strain.
The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24 now totals nearly 2.6 million and some cities in eastern Europe are running out of accommodation.
Speaking after meeting her Moldovan counterpart in Chisinau, Baerbock said Germany was committed to helping Ukraine’s neighbours look after refugees and a corridor would be set up via Romania to bring people to Germany, mainly by bus.
“Europe and our country stands in solidarity with you, we will take refugees from you,” she said.
Around 300,000 people have crossed into Moldova from Ukraine since war broke out. More than 100,000 of them have stayed in the country.
Later, Baerbock met refugees at Palanca, just 65 km from the Black Sea port of Odessa in Ukraine.
“We fled as soon as the town was bombarded,” a young woman from Sumy in northeastern Ukraine told Baerbock. Relieved to have made it over the border with her two children, aged four and 12, she was standing just metres from a queue of hundreds of women and children still seeking permission to enter Moldova.
A border official said up to 5,000 people were arriving in Palanca every day.
Some 109,183 refugees from Ukraine have so far been registered in Germany, the interior ministry said on Friday and Germans have offered up to 300,000 private homes to house them.
(Reporting by Alexander RatzWriting by Madeline ChambersEditing by Frances Kerry and Ros Russell)